Before the Queen’s coffin was lowered into the royal vault in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, a crown, orb and sceptre were removed. Here’s why they were taken off and what they mean.
Earlier, some 800 guests attended a committal service ahead of the Queen’s burial, where the King and other members of the Royal Family bid a final farewell in public to the Queen.
During the service the Crown Jewels – the Imperial State Crown containing almost 3,000 diamonds, the sovereign’s orb and sceptre were removed from the top of her coffin and placed on an altar.
The crown, orb and sceptre symbolise the monarch’s power and governance and so its removal separated the Queen from her crown for the last time following her 70-year reign.
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The Imperial State Crown was the crown she wore when she left Westminster Abbey after her coronation. Made of gold, it is set with 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, 269 pearls, and four rubies.
Lord Chamberlain, the most senior official in the royal household, then broke his “wand of office” which was then placed on the casket, symbolising the end of the Queen’s reign.
The wand is broken to create symmetry with the three Instruments of State that had been removed from the coffin.
Alongside the symbolic objects, her coffin was topped with flowers picked from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove House.
They were accompanied by a handwritten note from King Charles which said “in loving and devoted memory” and was signed Charles R – for Rex, or king.
At the end of the Committal Service, the King placed the Queen’s Company Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin.
The service marked the last time the Queen’s casket was pictured, after which it was lowered into the royal vault where it will be joined by the coffin of her husband, Prince Philip.
The Queen’s final resting place will be the King George VI memorial chapel, a small annex to the main chapel – where her mother and father are buried, and where the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret, are kept.